Seasonal Playlist – Spring 2013

Time flies – in just a few weeks time, it will be ten years, one decade, since I graduated college. Ten years since the days of XL twin beds, going to dining halls, and panicking about silly things like midterms, your GPA, and, oh yeah, that nagging feeling of “what am I going to do after this whole college thing is over?”

Pictured: me, my math study group buddy in 2013, and a bunch of math/probability equations that I never used ever again after the final.

I lived with one of my best friends during Senior Year on the 17th floor of a high rise dorm that overlooked the highway that curved as it made its final turns into Boston. We would joke about how it would probably end up being the nicest place we would ever live (still holds true), spend our days in class half listening, and spend many of our nights smoking in the hilariously large bathroom (it was big enough for smoking and listening sessions for 4+ people), chatting about everything and nothing, watching TV (Jeff Green: American Hero) or playing video games (always pick the shrimp team in FIFA). I’m happy to say that we still talk nearly every day, and I consider him to be one of my best friends. We had a lot of really in-depth music listening sessions that ended up dramatically influencing my taste in music.

Spring 2013 was also, unfortunately, the time when the Boston Marathon bombings occurred. Patriot’s Day is one of the best days of the year in Boston, the official start of spring and nicer weather. My roommate and I had stayed up late the night before, sleeping late enough to miss the morning house party that had occurred at our friend’s place in Allston. When we arrived, the party had broken up and was over (our friends were still very drunk). We hung around for a while, but then made our way back to our dorm. Turning on the TV revealed the unfortunate events that had just occurred only a few minutes earlier only a couple miles away. Shock and uneasiness about what happened in the following days turned into a lockdown, which culminated in watching from our dorm windows the flashing blue lights of police cars from all over the area screaming down the empty highway and riverways to the next town over where the nightmare ended.

Marathon Monday 2013 post the house party breaking up but before the bombings. The four of us in front remain extremely close. I don’t know what happened to the guy in the back. Man I look tired.

You may know if you’ve read my rantings before that I make playlists, a lot of them. These aren’t playlists with idealized moods or themes, but instead they’re a chronicle of the music that I listened to at the time. They’re one of, if not my most cherished digital assets, spanning nearly 17 years and over 1100 individual tracks. Creating a “seasonal” playlist every few months is an exercise in creativity, listening to old playlists is an exercise in nostalgia.

Prior to my senior year of college, I had known that I had a bond with music, but it really wasn’t until that year and those listening sessions that my musical tastes as I understand them today really started to take form. Scanning the playlist and it’s littered with albums that I still come back to all time: R.E.M’s Murmur, Father John Misty’s Fear Fun, Surfer Blood’s Pythons, Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories, the self titled albums from Paramore, blink-182, Young the Giant, Melody’s Echo Chamber, Ween’s The Mollusk and so on. It remains my favorite playlist of the eight that represent my eight semesters at college. Contrary to the events of Patriot’s Day, the music on this playlist remains nostalgic, wistful, hopeful about the future. The back half of the playlist especially hits on the “end of an era” vibe: Jake Bugg’s “Two Fingers” revels in the opportunity to “hold two fingers up to yesterday,” “1979” swirls and encourages asking questions about the past and what’s to come, and the deconstructed mix of “Die Young” fittingly caps my college years with the simple words “let’s make the most of the night like we’re gonna die young” (now imagine listening to that song while riding a bike late at night down Commonwealth Avenue a bit drunk and a bit high and you can enter my headspace at the time).

By the end of the spring semester of my senior year, I knew some things: that I had somehow acquired an internship for the summer, and that I was going to spend what would hopefully become an unforgettable few months with my college friends who lived around the corner from me in Allston…and that’s about it. The events of the summer would dictate what I would do come the fall, and at that point, it was just important to live in the moment, and keep your options open.

10 years is both a long time and not that long in the bigger picture. It’s too easy for me to sit here and blab about how much has changed in the world and in my life, what my twenties and early 30s have brought etc. But at this point, I’m thinking a lot more about where I’m going to be in ten years, 2033 (good lord) – where will I be? Will I look back to writing this and think about how far I’ve come, or more about how things have mostly stayed the same? I know one thing for sure, regardless of where I am or how my back feels – I’ll still be making seasonal playlists. Here’s to another ten years.

Listen to the Spring 2013 Seasonal Playlist on Spotify:


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